They sure don't build em like this anymore. This 1958 Precision bass is one of the coolest vintage instruments I've had the privilege of working on. It has had the same owner since the 1970's, and for the first time in over 20 years it'l get some love and adjustment. The owner plans to pass the bass on to his infant son once he's ready for it, and wants to prepare the bass for long-term storage.
Saturday, January 14, 2012
Could you imagine making your first trip to the dentist at age 39? Thats essentially what happened with this 1972 Telecaster. The owner purchased it brand new when he was 12 years old and it's been his main axe ever since. This is a really well built guitar, and it's certainly stood the test of time but it still needed complete re-fret and some finish and hardware restoration.
A true museum quality guitar - A Miguel Rodriguez Church Door. It is owned by renowned classical guitarist Susan McDonald, and for the first time in years she allowed someone to give it some much needed attention. While the tone and appearance of the instrument are both striking, they pale in comparison to the backstory and lore of its origin!
One of the perks of my job is that sometimes I get to work on some really awesome guitars. Case in point - the 235th Jackson Randy Rhodes ever made. Being a huge fan of Jackson guitars, this one is real special. It was only in for a basic setup, but due to the sheer awesomeness of this instrument it's visit deserved to be written about.
Now that our glue is set, we move onto the sanding and shaping portion of this job. This is the sort of day where you can not forget to put your contacts in. One must rely on eyesight and a steady hand, because theres no tools or jigs that will help you along. Experience and knowledge are the only guides.
Saturday, September 24, 2011
Here is Austin, one of our loyal customers, and his sweet 1981 Gibson ES 335. He is the guitarist for a great local rock band called White Denim. They're about to go on tour. and he wanted his axe to bling. We didn't snap any 'before' pictures, but this guitar used to be a cloudy shade of green. After we sanded the top, cleaned the hardware, and buffed the entire guitar, it now shines like the North star. Do your ears a favor, and check out White Denim here.
Building your own guitar is great for a lot of reasons. Once the instrument is complete, you have a real connection to it - considering that you hand selected everything from the wood to the fret wire. Often you end up with a guitar that is of very high quality, while spending less money than you would for a pre-assembled axe. The downsides are that parts ordered from different companies sometimes don't want to work together. Things that look easy to do yourself usually require an amount of precision that isn't available from the household toolbox. And worse yet, these sort of problems don't usually reveal themselves until deep into the build.
But first, lets pause and marvel at this amazing piece of figured walnut. My fledgling photography skills can't even capture the full 3-D effect going on here. It's heavy piece of wood, but very easy on the eyes and ears. The rosewood fingerboard also has exceptional figure and color. The owner really did a good job selecting wood for this guitar. He brought it to us to cut a bone nut and to perform some fret leveling and final setup. As you'll see, its a shame he didn't have us measure and route the bridge placement as well...
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
This is an beautiful example of an Epiphone John Lennon signature model that has only been a guitar for about 10 years. It has been played extensively by its owner, and because of his use of a capo, the frets have worn down very quickly. Frets 1 - 8 have deep grooves in them, far too deep to level and re-crown. Contributing to the problem, the fret wire used by Epiphone likely isn't the highest of quality. The Jescar wire we replace it with will last twice as long. So, we'll replace the first eight and then level them into the remaining frets.